WHAT IS OMEGA 3 AND OMEGA 6?
For one that is interested in learning about what is Omega 3 and Omega 6 and also what is Omega 6 and Omega 3 ratio supposed to be, one first has to understand what are fatty acids whether one is following The Best Keto Diet Plan For Beginners or otherwise.
The essential fatty acids are divided into Omega-3 ad Omega-6 fatty acids.
WHAT ARE FATTY ACIDS
Fatty acids, in particular, essential fatty acids (EFAs), which are alpha-linolenic (Omega-3) and linolenic acid (Omega-6), are intimately related to managing inflammation and health in one’s body.
Fatty acids provide the building blocks for one’s body to make prostaglandins, which are agents that can both increase and decrease inflammation in the body.
During digestion, the body breaks down fats into fatty acids, which can then be absorbed into the blood.
Fatty acid molecules are usually joined together in groups of three, forming a molecule called a triglyceride.
WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS
One’s body makes a number of fatty acids.
However, it does not make all the fatty acids it needs.
Fatty acids that one’s body cannot make are called “Essential Fatty Acids”.
Both the Omega 3 and the Omega 6 fatty acids cannot be made by one’s body, and thus they are classified as Essential Fatty Acids.
WHAT ARE POLYUNSATURATED FATTY ACIDS
From a chemical standpoint, polyunsaturated fats are simply fat molecules that have more than one unsaturated carbon bond in the molecule.
This is also called a double bond.
Oils that contain polyunsaturated fats are typically liquid at room temperature but start to turn solid when chilled.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are fatty acids that contain more than one double bond in their backbone.
This class includes many important compounds, such as the essential fatty acids.
WHAT IS THE STRUCTURE OF THE OMEGA-3 AND OMEGA-6 FATTY ACIDS
The Omega-3 fatty acids are long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids ranging from 18 to 22 carbon atoms in chain length with the first of many double bonds beginning at the third carbon (upon counting from the methyl end of the fatty acid structure).
Omega-3s are also called essential fatty acids because the body needs them for normal functions.
Of the Omega 3 fatty acids, it is important to note that the two chief Omega 3 fatty acids are EPA and DHA.
Thus, note that the Omega 3 fatty acids are primarily the EPA and DHA fatty acids.
Further note, that when referring to fish oil this is the same as referring to the Omega-3s, so the two are used interchangeably.
The Omega-6 fatty acids are a family of polyunsaturated fatty acids that have in common a final carbon-carbon double bond in the n-6 position, that is, the sixth bond, counting from the methyl end.
Members of the Omega-6 family can have pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory effects.
WHAT ARE THE BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF OMEGA 6
The biological effects of the Omega-6 fatty acids are largely produced during and after physical activity for the purpose of promoting growth and during the inflammatory cascade to halt cell damage and promote cell repair by their conversion to Omega-6 Eicosanoids that bind to diverse receptors found in every tissue of the body.
However, unfortunately, the consumption of too much Omega-6, which is found in the corn oil and vegetable oils used in so much American food can be unhealthy.
Too much Omega 6 can raise one’s blood pressure, lead to blood clots that can cause heart attack and stroke, and cause one’s body to retain water.
Thus, one needs to follow the correct ratios of Omega-6 to Omega-3 as reviewed following.
WHAT ARE THE OMEGA-3 BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS FOR THE EPA AND DHA FATTY ACIDS
Note that the human body can’t make Omega-3s on its own.
The EPA and DHA fatty acids are the primary Omega-3 fatty acids.
Fish oil is primarily Omega 3, and the two are used interchangeably.
Following are many science-backed health benefits of the Omega-3s:
The Omega 3s are very important when it comes to reducing inflammation due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Inflammation has been shown to be instrumental in leading to many diseases that affect all parts of one’s body.
The present definition of obesity is when one has a body mass index (BMI) which is over a 30 BMI.
Further, obesity increases in countries as their income increases.
To work out one’s BMI: divide one’s weight in kilograms (kg) by one’s height in meters (m) then divide the answer by your height again to get your BMI.
Obesity carries with it an increase in the likelihood of many diseases such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
Fish oil, when added to one’s diet, has been shown to reduce belly fat and thus reduce one’s waist to height ratio which needs to be 50% or lower….ie: a 36-inch waist divided by a 72-inch height is 50%.
Reducing inflammation in itself greatly reduces the chance of one contracting cancer which is considered to be a metabolic disease.
As one’s inflammation level increases, one’s immunity decreases and thus one is more susceptible to contracting cancer.
– Heart Health
Since heart disease is the number one cause of deaths worldwide the Omega 3 fish oils deserve special attention since it has been shown that eating a lot of fish translates into one’s having a much lower incidence of heart disease.
The many risk factors for heart disease are reduced by consumption of fish oil and/or fish.
The heart health risk factors that are reduced are:
Good HDL is increased
Triglycerides are reduced by 25%
– Blood Pressure
Blood pressure has been shown to be reduced in subjects with blood pressure elevations.
Plaque reduction and prevention have been shown.
Plus, importantly, when plaques are present they are made more stable, which in itself lowers the risk of embolisms.
Arrhythmias, which can be a serious and/or fatal heart problem, are reduced.
– Mental Health
It is important to note that the human brain is approximately 60% fat.
It has been noted that often people with certain mental disorders have lower blood levels of Omega 3.
Omega 3 can prevent the onset of mental symptoms.
It can also reduce the likelihood of many psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorders.
A 2003 study in European Neuropsychopharmacology found that people who took Omega-3 fatty acid supplements had reduced depression symptoms.
A 2009 review of three other major studies on Omega-3 in depression found that the supplements yielded much improvement.
– Eye Health
Similarly to the brain, the eye relies heavily on the Omega 3s.
Specifically, macular degeneration, which is related to old age, appears to be related to fish oil consumption.
One’s skin contains a very large amount of the Omega 3s.
Fish oil combats a number of skin disorders such as those caused by aging, excessive sun exposure, dermatitis, and psoriasis.
Thus, Omega-3 is important for maintaining healthy skin.
– Early Life
Since the Omega 3s are essential for early growth and development, it is very important for pregnant women to get enough Omega 3 during pregnancy and even afterward while breastfeeding.
The health of one’s liver is critical.
Liver disease has become increasingly prevalent.
By consuming Omega 3, one can increase the health of one’s liver and improve impaired liver function and the amount of fat in the liver.
Thus, liver function can be improved and liver inflammation can be reduced.
Specifically NAFLDs (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease) symptoms can be reduced.
Depression symptoms are growing over the years.
It has been shown that low levels of the Omega 3s correlate with major depression.
Interestingly, it appears the Omega 3 EPA has a larger role in reducing depression than the Omega 3 DHA.
ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) disorders in children continue to grow.
Getting enough Omega 3s support brain function and help prevent such behaviors that occur in children.
And, with the Omega 3s making up a large part of the brain, learning should be increased while reducing behavioral disorders.
Alzheimer’s disease increases as one ages as brain function decreases.
Fish oil has been shown to slow and even improve such mental decline and loss of brain function, including memory as one ages.
Fish oil seems to be important for reducing asthma.
Asthma can lead to swelling in one’s lungs and shortness of breath.
These symptoms, which are more prevalent early in life, seem to be greatly ameliorated by fish oil supplements for the infants and/or nursing mothers.
Fish oil supplements seem to be beneficial for the symptoms of Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis.
The Omega 3 fatty acids seem to be beneficial for bone health as they increase one bone mineral density (BMD).
– Female Hormones
Fish Oils help to reduce the problems associated with menstrual problems including hot flashes.
This could be due to the Omega 3s ability to control inflammation.
Regardng protecting the kidneys and reducing kidney disease, fish oils can play an important part.
By reducing kidney disease one can be prevented from relying on dialysis which has been growing exponentially.
WHAT RATIO OF OMEGA 6 TO OMEGA 3 IS CORRECT FOR OPTIMUM HEALTH
It is well understood that the ratio of one’s intake of Omega 6 to Omega 3 is important for one’s health and longevity.
Generally, a ratio of 4 Omega 6 to 3 Omega 3 is considered ideal.
However, many anti-aging experts are recommending a consumption ration of 1 to 1.
These ratios that one should strive to obtain are important because the average American consumes a ratio of between 12 to 25 times as much Omega 6 as they do the Omega 3s.
WHY IS THE OMEGA 6 TO OMEGA 3 RATIO IMPORTANT
In determining the Omega 6 and Omega 3 ratio, it is important to note that excessive amounts of Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), and a very high Omega–6/Omega–3 ratio, as is found in today’s Western diets, promote the pathogenesis of many diseases.
Such diseases include cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
However, increasing the Omega-3 ratio reduces the likely hood of these diseases.
RECOMMENDED OMEGA CONSUMPTION
If one does not eat 1–2 portions of oily fish per week, one may want to consider taking a fish oil supplement.
There are two ways one can obtain Omega-3s:
– Omega-3 From Diet
The go-to food for Omega-3s is fish.
The primary fish that contain good amounts of Omega-3 are:
Note that farm-raised fish carry many problems and often diseases, and are not recommended for human consumption.
– Omega-3 From Supplements
Since it is extremely important for one to have the correct balance of Omega 3 to Omega 6 consumption, supplementation with Omega 3 is highly recommended.
As stated, Omega-3 fatty acids are also called essential fatty acids because the body needs them for normal functions.
These fats are important for neurological development and growth.
However, the human body can’t make Omega-3s on its own.
Studies have found that people who took Omega-3 fatty acid supplements had increased health and longevity.
Many who are are now concerned regarding the amount of mercury found in many fish and who are not able to find a good supply of wild fish take safe Omega 3 supplements.
Studies have shown that supplementation with Omega-3 has increased one’s health and longevity.
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From supporting heart health and brain function to balancing the inflammatory response, there is no debating the broad-spectrum benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids.
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OBTAINING THE OMEGA HEALTH ADVANTAGE
By one understanding what is Omega 3 and Omega 6 and also what is Omega 6 and Omega 3 ratio supposed to be for one’s healthy longevity, one can proceed to adjust one’s lifestyle whether living The Ketogenic Diet for Healthy Longevity or otherwise.
Furthermore, one now is empowered with the knowledge that the ratio of one’s intake of Omega 6 to Omega 3 is of key importance for one’s health and longevity.
This is not Medical Advice. Nothing herein this article should be considered or used as any personal medical advice, and one should always consult with one’s personal Doctor before making any changes in one’s diet, routine or following any information given, suggested or provided herein. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Nothing herein is intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. No statements herein are FDA approved.
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Ted, Founder of this Keto-Longevity.com site